Over the past few years, we’ve heard a bunch of different do’s and don’ts about SEO—many that blatantly contradict each other. Do include keyword-rich content. Don’t use too many keywords on your web pages. Do include the keywords you want to rank for in your metadata. Don’t spend any time on meta tags—they don’t matter anymore.
But with constant updates, many of us are often left wondering what to actually do next. Here are some helpful tips for finally having a fair shot at winning the SEO game.
TAKE OFF THE BLACK HAT (AND BURN IT WITH FIRE!)
By now you’ve probably heard of “black-hat SEO” and the extent to which Google frowns upon its tactics. But some still have a tendency to utilize these outdated tactics out of old habit. To them, I say, “Set that black hat aflame!”
The only way to have a fair chance at winning the SEO game is to cleanse your site of toxic tactics, including keyword stuffing, adding invisible text to web pages, exchanging or purchasing links, social network spamming, URL hijacking and more. Otherwise, you risk getting penalties from Google, being banned from the search engines and even becoming excluded from search engine results pages.
RESEARCH KEYWORDS AND CREATE AN SEO STRATEGY
After to purging your website of toxicity, you've got to boost it up with strategic efforts. The first of these being keyword planning and SEO strategy! Far different from black-hat keyword stuffing, sprinkling in a few relevant, natural keywords can help your website organically attract visitors. Start by making a list of about 10 key terms that are relevant to your business, plug them into Google’s Keyword Tool or SEMrush, and see which variations can work well within your content and on your site. Then, build out several keyword-focused web pages that are tailored to a few specific keywords or phrases. One great tactic for content strategy is topic clusters. With this organization tactic, your content is centered around the pillars of your business and each page is connected to several other related pages, helping to better direct your visitors to more content that can help them! It's also a good idea to create a link-building plan with tactics to attract inbound links to your site and track the results of your SEO efforts.
FOCUS YOUR EFFORTS ON CREATING QUALITY CONTENT
In the past, SEO was all about having lots of pages, authority and keyword-rich content. But it didn’t focus on what’s most important to the visitor, which is to find the information they’re searching for, displayed in an easy-to-read format and presented in a way that’s attention-grabbing. Fortunately, today’s SEO best practices are rooted in creating quality content, which means that Google will reward engaging, informational copy (among other things like design, UX, etc.) over things like black-hat SEO tactics.
On the topic of content creation, remember also that your job isn’t over after a few blog articles or a couple of e-books are posted. Frequency is just as important as relevancy. Google wants to ensure you’re content is current and will drop your site’s ranking if it thinks your content is stale. Begin posting shorter pieces a few times a week and see what else you can start to add.
STAY INFORMED ABOUT CHANGES
One way to lose the game of SEO is to stop keeping up to date with changes. In the digital world, change is inevitable and it’s essential for anyone with an online presence to stay in-the-know about Google algorithm updates and other similar changes. It’s easy to think, “Well, surely by now they’ve thought of everything and won’t be altering anything anytime soon.” Then things like mobile and tablet devices emerge and the need for responsive and mobile-friendly website designs come into play—affecting the copy and SEO on each page.
Though there’s always a lot to keep up with in terms of change in the digital world, there are plenty of helpful resources—including HubSpot blogs, Moz, Mashable and more—to keep you educated and on the cutting edge. Kissmetrics also recommends tons of helpful SEO resources for getting tips and tricks, staying updated and gaining a deeper understanding of how it all works.
There you have it. Following these tips and staying on top of the latest updates will help your website SEO stay in the game (and win it!). Looking to boost your online presence? Our powerful Growth Partnership is a great way to partner with the DZ team to reach your next milestone in digital growth. Chat with us to see if this partnership is a good fit for your business!
Hearing about growth-driven design for the first time? Learn more about the three pillars of GDD and how this methodology can help you solve your greatest marketing challenges.